5 More LinkedIN Jobseeker PitfallsShannon Hall
Last month we published an article titled Top 5 LinkedIN Jobseeker Pitfalls. We chose the top 5 LinkedIN mistakes we see with candidate profiles and offered our professional insight on how to fix these mistakes in order to make LinkedIN part of a successful job search. In this article we will list 5 more common pitfalls and explain how they can be avoided. Remember: 70% of employers screen candidates on social media before hiring, according to a CareerBuilder survey. This means it’s important to maintain a good and professional presence on LinkedIN in order to make the best possible impression on prospective employers.
- Unprofessional or Outdated Profile Photo
One of the worst mistakes a jobseeker can make with their LinkedIN profile is not including a profile picture. According to inc.com, a profile with a professional headshot gets 14x more views than those without. The profile picture is an extremely important part of your online identity and branding. A study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science reports that a person’s first impression of you based on a photograph is likely to stick even after meeting in person. An old or outdated profile picture can work against jobseekers if they do not look the same as what prospective employers expect based on their LinkedIN profile. It is also important for the profile picture to be professional and preferably a headshot. You should be dressed for work in your profile picture. Avoid unpolished pictures or photos taken at a non-professional event. You want to show future employers your best professional self and make a good first impression.
- Not Including a Strong Professional Summary
Your professional summary is important for many reasons. A summary tells prospective employers about your work history, skills, and goals all in one small paragraph. It should be concise and easy to read. Your summary should be like the summary of a book. Its purpose is to attract attention and make your audience want to read more. It should also help employers to quickly evaluate your relevance to the job they are trying to fill. Without a professional summary, your profile gives the impression of being incomplete. A LinkedIN report states that profiles that are 100% complete receive 40x more opportunities. Your summary also gives you the chance to stand out from similar candidates. A well-written and attention-grabbing summary will make you more attractive to employers than a candidate without one. Your LinkedIN summary also acts as a jumping-off point for interested employers to initiate a conversation. A professional summary is the place to showcase your skills and attract opportunities.
- Under-Utilizing Groups
In part one of this article we discussed the value of using LinkedIN as a tool for networking and gaining connections. Perhaps one of the best ways to get connections is to align yourself with a professional group on LinkedIN. Groups allow you to join individuals with common skills, industry knowledge, experience, and goals. Once you are in a group on LinkedIN, you can then send direct messages to anyone in that group regardless of whether or not your are connected. This gives you a greater opportunity to affiliate yourself with professionals who can strengthen your network. Groups also generate discussion which gives you a chance to participate and position yourself as a knowledgeable resource within your industry. Posting valuable content and commenting on discussion posts can help to get you noticed by potential employers.
- Sending Generic Connection Requests to Broaden Network
When it comes to building your network on LinkedIN you should, for the most part, value quality over quantity. Blindly sending generic requests to every person you see might get you plenty of connections, but in reality networking should be about the value of those connections. You should try to align yourself with people who have similar professional experience, people within your job industry, people you’ve worked with in the past, and people you’d like to work with in the future. A good way to give more meaning to your connections is to personalize the connection request. By doing a little research and scanning their profile beforehand, you can say something specific to their background and express your interest in a more personal way. Introductions are the foundation of good connections. By building a stronger network you open yourself up to more valuable opportunities.
- Forgetting to Adjust Privacy Settings
Privacy options for social media sites update often, and it’s important to be aware of the changes and adjust your settings accordingly. Certain information you will want to keep out of the public eye, such as your phone number, e-mail, and other personal contact information. Conversely, you don’t want your profile to be too locked down. By keeping your privacy settings too strict you make your profile inaccessible to people who might be interested in connecting or learning more about your professional background. You want to stay visible for potential employers in order to attract opportunities on LinkedIN.
These pitfalls are very common and should be avoided—especially during a job search. Your LinkedIN profile is the place to showcase your most valuable skills and accomplishments. You should use your profile to show employers why they should want to hire you. LinkedIN is an invaluable tool when it comes to a job search, and we believe it’s worth investing the time to fix these mistakes in order to attract the best opportunities.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. https://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/